Garfield High School (Los Angeles County, California)

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James A. Garfield High School
Frontdog.png
Address
5101 E. Sixth Street
East Los Angeles, California, 90022
United States
Coordinates 34°1′32″N 118°9′28″W / 34.02556°N 118.15778°W / 34.02556; -118.15778Coordinates: 34°1′32″N 118°9′28″W / 34.02556°N 118.15778°W / 34.02556; -118.15778
Information
Type Public
Motto "A clear head, a true heart, a strong arm"
Established 1925
School district Los Angeles Unified School District
Principal Jose Huerta
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 4,271 (2009–2010)
Color(s) White, Blue, & Crimson             
Mascot Bulldog
Rivals Roosevelt High School[1]
Website

James A. Garfield High School is a public, year-round high school founded in 1925 in East Los Angeles, an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County, California. The school was made famous by the film Stand and Deliver about a teacher named Jaime Escalante. A wake was held on April 17, 2010 for Jaime Escalante in the lecture hall where he taught calculus.[2]

History[edit]

Garfield was one of the five schools to initiate student protests known as the East L.A. walkouts in 1969, and contributed to the walkouts in 2006, in protest to the HR 4437 bill.

On May 20, 2007, a 17-year-old arsonist set fire to the school's 82 year-old auditorium. It was estimated that the fire caused over $30 million in damages. The auditorium was completely destroyed.[3] The 17-year-old arsonist, a boy who was a freshman at the school, was sentenced to juvenile camp and ordered to pay restitution for setting the blaze. Chandeliers were saved from the auditorium's wreckage.

A benefit concert was held collaboratively with Los Lobos,[citation needed] and a donation was given by boxer Oscar De La Hoya.[citation needed] L.A. Unified contends that the 1925 auditorium needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to meet state building codes, but nine insurers insist that the walls are salvageable and could support a new building, district officials said.[citation needed] Garfield's main administration building, which is attached to the auditorium must be retrofitted to meet earthquake standards, and officials have not determined the level of demolition needed.[4]

Jaime Escalante

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Wednesday March 31, 2010 a day after the death of Jaime Escalante that the new auditorium under construction at Garfield High would be named in his honor. On Thursday April 1, 2010 a memorial service honoring Escalante was held at the Garfield High where he taught from 1974 to 1991. Students observed a moment of silence on the front steps. About 200 attended, said Principal Jose Huerta.[5]

In July 2010, while the school was closed for the first summer vacation since 1991, the Administration Building and the remains of the Auditorium were demolished.[citation needed] By the start of the school year in September, the entire building was leveled. only a small power plant remains of the building. The school's 300 building is the final structure that dates back to the school's opening in 1925.

Year-Round Calendar[edit]

Garfield was on a year-round, multi-track schedule to relieve overcrowding from July 1991 to June 2010. Initially, there were four tracks. The students were, for the most part, randomly assigned to one of three tracks, and alternate two-month vacations. Only two-thirds of the student body were on campus at any given time. In 2010, the School announced that because of the opening of the new Esteban Torres High School, the school would revert to a traditional September–June calendar starting in September 2010.

Demographics[edit]

From the 1930s through the 1950s, Garfield High was predominantly White. However, since the 1960s, the majority of student body has been Hispanic.[6] The school had a total of 4620 students in the 2005–2006 school year; 99.26% of the students were identified as Hispanic.[7] Students enrolled in the 2009–2010 year are a total of 4,603..

Campus[edit]

The school is known for its murals. In 2006, due to structural damage, many of the murals were removed.[8]

Academics[edit]

Before the term of Henry Gradillas as principal in the 1980s, the average reading level of 10th grade students (sophomores) was equivalent to that of a student in the second month of the fifth grade, or a 5.2.[9] The total number of AP tests taken at Garfield each year before the Gradillas's term was 56. During Gradillas's term, the average reading level of a 12th grade student (seniors) was the tenth grade level, and the number of AP tests yearly increased to 357.[10] The increase in the reading level was due to required reading and remedial English courses for students at least three grade levels behind and a reading laboratory.[11]

Advanced Placement[edit]

Garfield achieved fame because of Jaime Escalante who, in the 1980s, along with the administration of Henry Gradillas built an exceptional advanced placement program. In 1982, 18 of his students passed the advanced placement calculus test. The College Board suspected cheating and required the students to re-take the examination. Further testing showed that the students had actually learned the material.[12]

In 1987, 73 students passed, while another 12 passed the second year calculus test. In 1988, a popular film titled Stand and Deliver starring Academy Award-nominee Edward James Olmos was made about the events of 1982. In 1990, there were over 400 students in Escalante's math program from algebra to calculus. In 1991, he had a falling out with the school administration and as a result left the Garfield school system. By 1996, only seven passed the basic calculus exam, with four passing the advanced exam. That was a total of eleven passing students, down from a high of 87 nine years earlier. In 2001, the school made a slight recovery in its calculus scores, with 17 passing the basic test and seven passing the second year test.[12]

In 2004, Newsweek ranked Garfield 581st top high school in the nation. The rank was based on the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors.[13]

Student performance[edit]

In 2005, according to the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) assistant vice chancellor for admissions and enrollment, Richard Black, Garfield had the highest number of combined Latino/Chicano and African-American students accepted by UC Berkeley.[14]

Sports[edit]

East LA classic

Football[edit]

Garfield High School participates in the "East L.A. Classic" the homecoming football game against Theodore Roosevelt High School, that traditionally draws over 20,000 fans.[15] The East LA classic has been held at the East Los Angeles College at the Weingart Stadium although it has also been held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jesness, Jerry (coauthor). "Preface." Gradillas, Henry and Jerry Jesness. Standing and Delivering: What the Movie Didn't Tell (New Frontiers in Education). R&L Education, November 16, 2010. ISBN 1607099438, 9781607099437.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mario Villegas , A 'Classic' for many reasons, ESPN Los Angeles, November 4, 2010
  2. ^ Leovy, Jill (April 17, 2010). "Honoring a legendary teacher and his legacy". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Khalil, Ashraf (May 21, 2007). "Fire destroys auditorium at Garfield High". The Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Rivera, Carla (September 28, 2009). "Insurance dispute takes center stage in auditorium drama". The Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ "Garfield High pays tribute to Jaime Escalante". Los Angeles Times. April 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ Robertson, Tatasha (May 17, 2004). "In school, Latinos find fewer resources, ethnic isolation". The Boston Globe. 
  7. ^ LAUSD Enrollment Summary
  8. ^ Landsberg, Mitchell. "Murals Get Brushoff at Garfield." Los Angeles Times. February 27, 2006. Retrieved on March 29, 2014.
  9. ^ Jessness, p. ix.
  10. ^ Jessness, p. x.
  11. ^ Jessness, p. ix-x.
  12. ^ a b Jerry Jesness (2002). Stand and Deliver Revisited. 
  13. ^ Mathews, Jay (2004). "The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2006-11-30. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  14. ^ Landsberg, Mitchell. "This King/Drew, a Magnet School, Is a Robust Success." Los Angeles Times. April 27, 2005. p. 1. Retrieved on April 16, 2014.
  15. ^ NFLHS.COM – State Stories
  16. ^ "Oscar De La Hoya set to fight Steve Forbes, battle for hometown crowd – New York Daily News". Daily News. May 2, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  17. ^ Rivera, Carla. "East L.A.'s loss is personal." Los Angeles Times. May 22, 2007. p. 1. Retrieved on March 29, 2014. "Its alumni include an array of politicians, actors, comedians, musicians, artists and sports figures, including comic Carlos Mencia and boxer Oscar De La Hoya."

External links[edit]